The Mechano-microbiology Team

Fall 2018, second attempt at taking a group photo…

The Research Group, Fall 2018


Also check out these articles (Welcome, Bacterial Attraction) by Mandy Koroniak and Patchen Barss for a fuller story...

Ruby Sullan, Principal Investigator

Ruby is a biophysical chemist with research interests in microbial nanoscopy, biofouling, and biomaterials. She obtained her BSc in Chemistry at the University of the Philippines—Diliman, and her PhD at the Biointerfaces group of Gilbert Walker, University of Toronto. While a PhD student, she spent a year at the Steacie Institute (NRC Ottawa) working on model membranes with Shan Zou. She then joined the Single-molecule Biophysics lab of Tom Perkins (JILA, CU-Boulder, USA). In 2013, she started studying nanoscale properties of bacterial pathogens in the group of Yves Dufrene in Belgium, as a Marcel de Merre fellow. In 2015, she moved to neighbouring Germany, as an Alexander von Humboldt postdoc fellow, at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces in the group of Kerstin Blank.



Dr. Nesha Andoy

Nesha did her PhD at Cornell University, working on single-molecule biophysics and single nanoparticle catalysis. She then moved to Harvard Medical School to study in vitro reconstitutions of clathrin-coated vesicles. Prior to joining the Mechano-microbiology lab, she worked with BioMedX and Roche Diagnostics in Heidelberg, Germany, where she was part of the Nanomaterial-based Biosensor group, developing electronic sensors for Point-of-Care applications. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, cycling, as well as playing the guitar and banduria. She also enjoys exploring the different cuisines in Toronto neighbourhoods.


Dr. Christian Kreis

Christian did his PhD in Physics at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization in Göttingen, Germany. During his doctoral studies, he worked on single-cell force spectroscopy of the microalga Chlamydomonas on model substrates. His current research focuses on how the extracellular matrix affects or influences biofilm stability. When not at work, Christian likes to do outdoor activities, exercise, cook, and bake. Christian is a recipient of the Feodor Lynen Research Fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (Germany).


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Alexa Zayadi

Alexa is a graduate of UofT’s materials chemistry specialist program. Her undergraduate thesis focused on developing superhydrophobic surfaces to reduce bacterial transfer in health facilities. Her research interests center on the role of material properties in affecting the outcome of bacterial cell-surface interactions. In her spare time, she can be found hiking, reading, trying tasty new foods and cuddling with her pet cat and hedgehog.


Keuna Jeon

Keuna finished her undergraduate at Western University with an Honors in Chemistry. Her undergraduate thesis was on optimizing metallic nanoplates for plasmon-enhanced spectroscopies. She is now a graduate student at University of Toronto in Chemistry with her research focused on targeted disruption of bacterial biofilms. She likes to play squash, go on runs and watch movies.


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Daniel Lysak

Daniel is a 4th-year student in the Biological Chemistry specialist program. Daniel is a two-time NSERC-USRA fellowship recipient while in the lab (Summer 2017 and 2018). In his free time he enjoys reading, cycling and working as a study group facilitator.


Sri Nowduri

Sri is a third-year student at UTSC studying Human Biology and Biochemistry. He received the NSERC-USRA and the TD Undergraduate Research Fellowship Award in the summer of 2018. He loves swimming and enjoys volunteering at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehab Hospital teaching children how to swim.


Meera Patel

Meera is a 3rd year student, studying Biochemistry major, Biology minor and Psychology minor. She received the NSERC-USRA in the summer of 2019, and is working on synthesizing drug loaded nanoparticles for targeted drug release on biofilms. She likes exploring new places and going out and about with friends, as well as spending time with kids as a Sickkids Child Life Volunteer. 


Susannah M. Tran

Susannah is an incoming 4th-year student studying Human Biology and Biochemistry. She is interested in research involving drug design, and will be involved in synthesizing drugs for targeted biofilm disruption. In her free time, she enjoys educating others about chemistry as a ChemAid tutor at UTSC and engaging in science outreach events. Her hobbies include visual arts, and watching movies.

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Yilei Xue

Yilei is a 4th-year student in UTSC in the Specialist in Chemistry program. She is currently doing a research study in Arduino technology (for producing reaction monitor). She is also interested in analytical and polymer chemistry. During her free time, she likes to spend time with animals. She had lots of pets before and is currently keeping a dog and a cat.



Alexis Ty, CHMD90 research student
Omar Zaher, ab volunteer, undergraduate student at UTSC
Anya Knight, ab volunteer, undergraduate student at UTSC
Sarah Nanquil, BioB98 research student, undergraduate student at UTSC
Nawrah Khader, undergraduate thesis student, now an MSc at UofT St. George campus
Mayura Panjalingam, lab volunteer, undergraduate student at UTSC
Ajitha Kananathalingam, lab volunteer
Muhammad Khan, undergraduate thesis student, now in Law school
Brody Chen, undergradute student in UofT St. George, UofT Excellence Award recipient while in the lab
Eric Lentz, now in Medical school, Nano-Net Award recipient while in the lab